Posts tagged “Vivek Wadhwa”
Technologies are advancing so rapidly that most industry leaders will be fighting for survival before they know it. The challengers will come out of nowhere, possibly from start-ups in other industries. Note how Amazon.com, a technology company, disrupted bookstores; how Apple shook up the music industry; and how mapping apps on cellphones have displaced GPS devices. The technology industry is increasingly disrupting itself.
Opinion: Employers can get into legal trouble if they ask interviewees about their religion, sexual preference, or political affiliation. Yet they can use social media to filter out job applicants based on their beliefs, looks, and habits. Laws forbid lenders from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. Yet they can refuse to give a loan to people whose Facebook friends have bad payment histories, if their work histories on LinkedIn don't match their bios on Facebook, or if a computer algorithm judges them to be socially undesirable. These regulatory gaps exist because laws have not kept up with advances in technology.
Opinion: Oculus, the latest technology startup to be acquired for billions of dollars, was based not in Silicon Valley but in Irvine, Calif. Snapchat, which is rumored to be worth billions, is based in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles area is a good place to live and has great weather, but it has no real advantage as a technology center. These companies could have been based anywhere with equal success. You can't predict which technology hub the next Oculus will come from--or whether it will be a hub at all. Anyone anywhere--whether in an incubator, garage or tent--can now build world-changing technology.
Opinion: Health care is a misnomer for our medical system. It should be called sick care. Doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies only make money when we are in bad health. If we could instead prevent illness and disease, it would turn the entire medical system on its head and increase the quality of our lives. The good news is that technology is on its way to letting us do this.
Vivek Wadhwa: For decades, the best and brightest minds from American business schools were attracted to Wall Street. But at least since the financial crisis, high-tech companies have become an increasingly appealing destination. In this spirited debate, two heavyweight thinkers argue over the respective merits of these two diverse career paths.
Opinion: Listen to the tales of successful company founders and you will get the impression that they sailed smoothly to success. They'll lead you to believe that they did everything right and made it big because of their smarts and perhaps a little luck. Don't be fooled. Entrepreneurship is never like that.
Opinion: That an Indian can lead the world's top software company is an important milestone for Indian-Americans and for America. But the larger message is for entrepreneurs everywhere: imagine what you can achieve if you put your differences aside and start helping one another.
Analysis: Facebook's recent acquisition of WhatsApp for a record-breaking $19 billion offers Facebook a unique advantage in the rapidly growing mobile-social-media space; and its acquisition of virtual-reality headset maker Oculus gives it an edge in the future market for virtual-reality displays. Though Mark Zuckerberg may have missed the opportunity to invent his own technologies, he is now doing the smart thing by using Facebook's stock as a currency to buy what he needs.
I meet entrepreneurs all over the world who think that venture capital is a prerequisite for starting a company. They write business plans and ask for introductions to venture capitalists. I tell them that they should instead bootstrap their startups; that what would have cost millions of dollars a few years ago now costs thousands. This story is about one startup that bootstrapped, rebooted and sold for millions.
Opinion: Hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a major scientific breakthrough in genomics. This means that medicine will, within a few years, start advancing at the same pace as the Internet and software. And, we will see a revolution in health care.
Opinion: Yes, I know I am biased and seem like a Tesla "fanboy." This is because I see the future of the automotive industry and a way to reduce our dependence on environment-destroying fossil fuels. Tesla has now proven the viability and superiority of electric vehicles. Along the way, it has had to battle skeptics, short-sellers, and even the press.
Opinion: When the tech industry was in its infancy, it was held to a low standard. Frat-boy behavior was tolerated, and the industry was a source of amusement. Now technology is an important part of the global economy. Technology companies are valued higher than the traditional blue chips and rake in billions in IPOs. They are expected to be exemplary, rather than laggards.
Opinion: I recently posted about Dropbox's hiring practices and how they put women at a disadvantage. But Dropbox is by no means a worst offender - they are actually one of the best companies in Silicon Valley. This is an industry-wide issue. Here are some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
A short letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal by VC firm Kleiner Perkins co-founder Tom Perkins ignites a firestorm of criticism from other venture capitalists as well as former Triangle entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa. But Wadhwa, a frequent critic of VCs and Silicon valley's elites, says more than Perkins need to change.
Opinion: Despite what critics say, the United States stands on the cusp of a dramatic revival and rejuvenation, propelled by an amazing wave of technological innovation. A slew of breakthroughs will deliver the enormous productivity gains and the societal dramatic cost savings needed to sustain economic growth and prosperity. These breakthroughs, mostly digital in nature, will complete the shift begun by the Internet away to a new era where the precepts of Moore's Law can be applied to virtually any field.
Analysis: More recently, we became disappointed with solar energy and electric cars. The good news is that this disappointment will soon turn into amazement as well. I know because I live in a solar home and drive a Tesla electric car that I say is a spaceship that travels on land.
Opinion: Whether you agree or disagree and regardless of whether you love outsourcing or hate it, much more of it lies ahead. The nature of work is itself changing: it is democratizing. Outsourcing is being superseded by crowdsourcing -- which is enabling anyone to take a job anywhere. Having people all across the world collaborate in this way will not only disrupt industries but also change societies.
Opinion: But the task isn't easy. Finding toys that appeal to girls and that inspire them to study science and technology isn't easy, however, as Andrea Guendelman learned when shopping for her five-year-old daughter. She wanted a chess set that her daughter would like. She found nothing. Then she looked for a girls' science kit and found nothing. When she talked to other mothers, they expressed the same frustration--that the toys and apps that inspire children to learn science and mathematics are geared toward boys rather than toward girls.
Twitter has garnered worldwide attention for its bad corporate governance practices and its inappropriate response to criticism. The company needs to be congratulated, however, for announcing that it is adding Marjorie Scardino to its board. Scardino is former chief executive of publishing giant Pearson and is highly accomplished. She is known for being outspoken. One woman board member isn't enough, however, no matter how competent or outspoken she is.
Analysis: The nature of work itself is changing for knowledge workers. During this decade, location will cease to be a barrier; many types of work will done as micro-tasks; and we will be collaborating in new ways. What will be most problematic is that our employers will make even greater demands on us and further intrude into our lives. This is the future we are headed into, whether we like it or not.
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